- Spain on Sunday vaccinated its citizens against COVID-19.
- The country’s health minister, Salvador Illa, has said that vaccination is voluntary but that the authorities will keep a list of all those who refuse it and share it with the European Union.
- Illa told TV channel La Sexta that the list would not be made public and that it would be done with the utmost respect for data protection.
- Spain experienced a brutal second upsurge in cases of coronavirus. It is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe and recorded more than 50,000 deaths due to the virus on Sunday.
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Spain is compiling a register of people who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine and plan to share the list with other European Union countries, the Spanish health minister announced.
Spain received its first doses on Sunday, with plans to vaccinate 2.3 million people over the next 12 weeks, reports El País. Vaccinations began Sunday, with the first dose for a 96-year-old, the newspaper said.
Health Minister Salvador Illa told broadcaster La Sexta on Sunday that receiving the vaccine is a voluntary process in which citizens are called up for their doses by their national health system free of charge.
But he encouraged people to get it and said, “The way to defeat the virus is by vaccinating us all.”
He said other European partners would have access to the register of those who reject it, as is done with other treatments.
But he added: “This is not a document to be made public and it will be done with the utmost respect for data protection.” It is not clear exactly what personal data should be recorded and shared.
In April 2018, the European Commission proposed a wide range of measures for cooperation and sharing of data around vaccinations in the bloc.
Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus. It recorded nearly 1.9 million cases, and according to Monday, more than 50,000 people in the country died with the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University tracker.
As with many other European countries, the cases revived in the fall.
The wave seems to be deteriorating, but Illa said on Sunday that people should not ‘watch’.
Hispanics stay under the clock between 11pm and 6am, with many areas keeping people at home except for work, nursing duties or access to medicine, according to the BBC. The broadcaster is expected to remain in place until May.
Spain is vaccinating citizens with the two-dose vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, according to El País.
According to the country’s national health system, people will be notified when they need to receive their first and second doses, Illa told La Sexta.
According to El País, other vaccines will also be used because they are approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Europe has new concerns about a coronavirus variant spreading rapidly in the UK. The variant, which is feared (but not confirmed) more contagious but not deadly, has been reported in EU countries, including Spain, France and Germany.